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We have recently used a lot of products is ASDA's Smartprice range and I suppose that in general most of them are on a par or just under the standard of the major branded products. One of the one's that I like best is the Apple Juice and that is what I shall be reviewing today.
Smartprice Apple Juice
The large white and green carton contains 1ltr of the apple juice and it usually retails a around 70p, which I believe to be a fair price for this product. It's not as dark in colour as some other apple juices I have tasted, but that doesn't seem to reflect in the taste. It has a clear light brown green sort of colour, which I guess does vaguely resemble apple.
I find it is best straight from the fridge since this seems to make it a little sharper than when drunk at say room temperature. Hubby likes it with Vodka, but I just like it as a refreshing drink on it own. It is a bit sweet, but it has definitely got that apple flavour going right through it. It seems a sharper crisper drink when chilled, so I suppose chilled or room temperature really depends on what kind of mood you are is, since even warm it is a refreshing a nice drink for a summers days.
I like this and we often at it to our basket on the way round, I think with summer clearly on the way it will be a lovely drink to have on those roasting summer afternoons. I might even have ice if it gets that hot. A refreshing a well priced apple juice, which I believe to be great value for money.
I married a Scot, and most of you who are familiar with Dooyoo will know him well as Donf18, but it wasn't he who introduced me to the noble haggis, this happened many years ago before we had even met. I have always liked it since the first taste, but I have to confess as to being somewhat unaware of the contents.
A few miles down the road there is a huge testament to the fact that Hall's meats remain as popular today as they ever did, it's a big factory where they make the sausages, bacon, black pudding haggis, white pudding and a few other traditional recipes we all have enjoyed several times over the years. On passing you can get the odd whiff of some concoction being prepared and most times it is quite pleasant although this said it can be a bit pungent at times too.
The size and price of haggis can vary significantly depending on where and when it is bought but a small haggis sufficient for two or three will only cost in the region of a pound. I say two or three this also depends on how much you intend to call a serving, I like a fair bit along with my neeps and tatties, and on Tuesday I shall participate along with thousands of other Scots in celebrating Robert Burns.
I can't honestly say I have a particular affiliation to the bard, more so to the tradition of eating haggis on his birthday. In some places this is taken very seriously and the piping in of a haggis is a very solemn and moving ceremony. No not particularly in celebration more simply because I do like haggis, it's unusual taste is both enjoyable and filling especially when accompanied by the traditional neeps and tatties.
It's only recently I discovered the true contents of a haggis and I can't say that in doing so it endeared me any closer to it. The best way to describe it is as a Scottish sausage, filled with sheep's heart, lungs, and liver spices and oatmeal. Not to appetising when put like that but certainly worth trying if you like sausage.
It is generally boiled and served with neeps and tatties but it is also sometimes sliced and fried after the boiling and this is they way I prefer mine to be done. I think the frying just gives it a slightly better flavour. The flavour is really just a spicy meaty taste with a slightly gritty texture due to the oatmeal.
I do like my haggis and as I have intimated I shall be participating on Tuesday although this will not be the only day this year on which I shall enjoy my haggis. I will be having it a few more times over the coming months and each time I shall as I always do look forward to a hearty ( excuse the pun ) meal.
The year was 1894 and William Kellogg was endeavouring to discover a digestible substitute for bread. After an accidental spillage of a mixture he was testing he made a remarkable discovery. After a few more attempts he was to have created what a lot of us now consider a pretty good breakfast. The product, which he created by accident, was Cornflakes. It wasn't however until 1906 that he formed what was then called "The Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company" it was not until sometime later that this was to be changed to Kelloggs.
The packaging of cornflakes has had a few revamps over the years, but two things has remained pretty much constant, those being the colour scheme of red and green, and of course the now infamous Cock which takes pride of place on the front of the box. The product comes in several sizes with the 500g package being the standard and coming in at around a price of £1.78. William Kellogg it is said and according to the newest advert signed the boxes as they left the factory................obviously too big a job these days, but the meaning remains the same. If it doesn't say Kelloggs on the box then it isn't Kelloggs in the box.
There are some who commit sacrilege while having their morning bowl of cornflakes by adding sugar, my hubby being one of those. There really in my opinion is no need to add anything they are absolutely scrummy on their own with freezing cold milk. Hubby tends to have half a packet at a time and again there is no need a decent bowlful will see you through till mid morning break easily. They do have or at least had a highish salt content, but recently they have significantly reduced this, it can still be tasted but more of a background hint than an actual taste. As the name portrays they are flakes, like golden snow flakes only slightly bigger. They are varius shades of gold and even their look is quite tempting. I guess when taking into consideration the very slight salt taste hubby can be forgiven for a little sugar, but jings two great tablespoons is way too much. I think and obviously if we go by sales many agree that Cornflakes are great tasting and make an ideal breakfast for both children and grown ups.
I guess in this day and age £1.78 is not too expensive for a decent breakfast, although in general I do think the price of breakfast cereals is extortionate. As for a breakfast you can do far worse, and will be toiling to finding anything which tastes better. Excluding chocolate another thing which hubby tends to eat too much of.
The nutrition info on Cornflakes is listed below, but as I have read in many reviews, if you like it eat it, if you watch every single thing you eat there will be no time left to enjoy it, and life is too short for that.
Per 100g serving
I've never really been a breakfast person; well apart from the cup of coffee and the ciggie, which I'm guessing doesn't count as a proper breakfast. I have over the last few months been a bit peckish on rising and have tried several options to quench my appetite. My favourite, by far being Cornflakes. It is heading now towards the colder mornings, not that you can tell the difference much up here in good old Scotland. So I decided to try ASDA Simply Porridge.
It comes in a two varieties, Golden Syrup and Original, and it is the former I think I like best. I do much prefer proper porridge, but it this hectic world we live in there never seems to be enough time, but 3 mins to make this can easily be found. The packaging is none to fantastic, in fact it's quite boring. The product itself however is really quite nice considering it's a quickie meal. Add the milk as directed or a little more or less depending on your preference for thickness. Zap for 3 mins in the microwave, and hey presto a nice hot breakfast. If you choose the golden syrup variety you can smell it throughout the house while it is cooking, and it entices you a little to sample the wares. Taste wise its quite satisfying, it has roughly the same consistency as proper porridge, although not quite so bulky, more of a paste. The 39g in each packet is probably just enough for me, but hubby thinks two packets may be required for a proper feed, and he may have a valid point, but don't go telling him. I could definitely taste the syrup flavour through it and this made it a bit sweeter than the original variety.........not too sweet, just a hint. I really though for my 90p or so outlay that it was pretty good value for money, but in truth it is the quickness which sold me in the first place.
I'd have to recommend this product, it tastes nice, is quick, and it does fill that little morning space, which required filling. There are six sachets in the box so it works out at about 15p per serving which isn't too bad, in fact that seems like really good value to me. So if your looking for a quick hot morning fix you do far worse than try this.
A couple of years ago I bought this for my husband for Christmas, and although there are obviously newer versions on the market this is still available on some sites as new for a very reasonable 34.99 upwards. Since there is a good chance hubby will read this I'd prefer not to divulge what I paid just lets say it was a fair bit more. That said I do feel after having truly tried and tested the unit I have definitely had my money's worth and I think hubby would agree.
The basic rectangular unit has a 4.3 touchscreen from where you can navigate the menu system. Volume brightness can be adjusted to suit your preferences. The colours a bright and vivid and through the settings menu you can alter them ever so slightly to suit your needs. To one side of the unit in the charging connection and a cable is supplied for this, actually two are supplied, on for connection via USB to the PC and an in car charger for when travelling.
An added connection for earphones is available, and this can be connected to a suitable car stereo to aid in hearing the voice instructions. A smaller version of the power socket can be used for traffic news, but you are required to purchase this lead separately and we have not done so since we have really found no need. The last slot in the unit is for and SD card and this is used for two purposes. The first being to store extra maps, and the second to store text and pictures, which can be displayed on the screen.
On the top of the unit is the main power on/off switch, which when powered up is also used as a sleep button and a quick press will put the unit into sleep mode. Another quick press will return the unit to fully functioning.
Use and navigation
Once switched on there will be two options on the main screen, a large globe indicates selecting navigation and a small globe will indicate using the viewer for media such as pictures and text documents. We've or at least I have only used this a few times since hubby has that many gadgets for this that we tend to use them since their quality is better. In any case selecting a menu brings up another menu until you arrive where you want to be.
This is also the same for navigation except here it is more pictorial and easier to understand. The small graphics make it very easy to select address, favourites, points of interest, post codes, and the touchscreen is sensitive enough to know your selection yet not too sensitive to guess your choice.
Once you have set your destination, the unit seeks a signal and once a signal has been received it calculates the route. From the touchscreen and NOT WHILST DRIVING you can select to view the route or get instructions, choosing nothing will simply take you to navigation. Here all you have to do s follow the onscreen instruction and if you want you can have voice help in following the route. This is where we get to my first gripe about the unit; in fact it's probably my only gripe. On approaching a roundabout the frequency of instruction is too much. There are times when I have heard her say, " at the roundabout take the second exit" at least four times and we are still only a few hundred yards from the roundabout. Sometimes she really does my head in.
On route the instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the screen interpretation of the roads seems very realistic. It is very user friendly and does a super job. Another slight problem, which really has nothing to do with the unit is hubby as normal has a tendency to not follow instructions, and sometimes the poor sat nav woman has to re-calculate several times on a journey.
Onscreen at the bottom is the distance to next turn manoeuvre, the current speed and the distance to completed journey all of which can be removed or changed form the settings menu.
All in all this is a great little sat nav, we have used it loads of times now and we have never got lost even though when we first started using it for a bit of fun we did try to get lost, no she always go us home. Incidentally she does not have to be a she, she can be a he, if she desires lol
Some sweets just seem to capture the imagination, sadly though most of them don't stay around too long. There were a lot of sweets in my younger day, which I still have a hankering for. Many of them have been reincarnated, but for some reason they do not seem the same as they did in the good old days. There are some sweets today which although have different names strangely resemble one of my all time favourites. Treats, you know the ones with the crispy shell, which don't melt, in your hand. A very good substitute for those now long gone sweets are M&M.s
The bright yellow packet, which contains the 185g of multi-coloured oval shaped sweets, catches your eye as it sits proudly on the supermarket shelf and at ASDA just now they are selling for 87p. The 185g is bucket loads of crispy-coated chocolate with a peanut at its heart. I'm not going to insult your intelligence by telling you the size of a peanut, but by knowing its size you can quickly get and idea of how big an M&M is. The deliciously salty peanut is covered by a very generous 2-3mm of sweet chocolate, then to ensure it all doesn't just melt away they have covered this confection in a multitude of coloured crispy shell. They look very bright and inviting and once you've had one its just not going to be enough. They are SO moreish. The fact that the chocolate varies in thickness and the fact that all peanuts are not the same size, means that they are all different sizes so you can be greedy and choose a large one or pick a small just to top up after already having had several large ones. The mix of sweet and salty is not a new idea but it does work extremely well in the case of M&M's, they are absolutely delicious.
For my meagre outlay I have a large bag of sweets, which should last me a few days providing hubby doesn't find them. Great value for money and a very nice sweet, hbby likes to simply crunch and chew and get the mix going as soon as possible, but I tend to take my time and enjoy them. Sometimes simply sucking the crispy shell off and then waiting for the sweet chocolate to melt, and to finally enjoy a simple little peanut, which has been left all alone.
Being a working mum and housewife means that my hands take some punishment during the course of a normal working day. In and out of water, getting dried out, nails getting hard and brittle. What I needed was something to replenish the moisture that I was losing, and something, which was going to look after my hands and nails.
As most of you ladies will be aware, and no doubt some of the gentlemen, there are a lot of products on the pharmaceutical shelves that will do this task for you. So choosing if mostly a matter of preference and obviously depends on your budget too.
Cuticura is a brand that I have trusted over the years, I can remember my mum using it on us when we were small so it is a brand which has been around for a while, and I feel that in general brands that last are usually brands which are trusted.
The slightly dull orange a vivid blue tube which holds the cream is pretty bog standard, that is to say it wasn't the packaging that initially took my eye to this product. The price tag of 99p certainly did. It states clearly on the front of the tube that this is Cuticura Dry Skin intensive hand and nail cream. In the dull orange section it states three claims Intensively Moisturises, Nourishes and protects hands and nails, With glycerin and allantoin. There is also a small brighter orange oval which has the words new pack written in it. All in all enough info but not awe-inspiring.
So does it do what it states? Well firstly for my 99p I obviously wasn't expecting miracles, I was just looking for something, which I could use in between using a better quality cream. Hands in and out of water meant that the detergents were simply removing the more expensive cream and wasting my hard earned. After each plunge into the water I would dry my hands and now apply Cuticura, and to be honest for my measly outlay the results although not instant were obvious. After a few days I did notice that my nails were not quite as brittle, and taking into consideration that I was applying the expensive stuff at nights, I feel the Cuticura definitely helped the healing process. The cream is slightly runny compared to my other brand, but it does absorb quickly and there is no greasiness. It has one of those generic smells that some may associate with such creams.
Overall I certainly think my 99p was well spent, and that an improvement in my hand and nails definitely occurred. I do think that I will continue to use this in conjunction with my preferred brand. It seems to have helped a bit and is great value for money.
Through the cough cough years that I've been around there seems to be one chocolate bar that has followed me through the years. Well truthfully there is more than one but there is only one of which I am a frequent sampler. I do like chocolate a lot, but not nearly as much as hubby, who would probably live on the stuff given half a chance.
I'm not really one for combo bars, by that I mean things like Cadbury's caramel, Mars, Snickers that kind of thing, I prefer just plain old chocolate for chocolates sake. Recently whilst passing the checkout at ASDA I spotted the latest version of the bar, which has followed me. It was in a pink wrapper and was a special on promotion and for the Tickled Pink charity for breast cancer. It was strange because we are all very familiar with the bright yellow wrapper that usually accompanies the infamous Cadburys' Flake.
Cadburys' chocolate is perhaps the most popular brand in the UK and it is a very nice chocolate in the standard bar form. It's smooth creamy, and of a very high quality. There is just enough cocoa flavour to make it irresistible. Advertised, as a glass and half full milk, will give you an idea of how creamy they think it is.
It's one of these bars that is just nice when relaxing and watching tele, but with Flake this relaxing becomes so much more so, that is if you are inclined to forget about the rather liberal sprinkling of chocolate crumbs that are about to ensue.
Flake is made exactly the same as the normal Cadbury chocolate except it is as you'd expect from the name flakes all held together with little bits of chocolate. It's a completely different texture being flakes and for some reason way over my head the flakiness just seems to make it taste that little bit better. There is no logical explanation, but it now tastes a bit more chocolaty, is obviously a little less smooth and it is perhaps this vast difference in texture that stimulates the taste buds, I don't know, I know that it tastes so much better in the Flake version as opposed to the normal Dairy Milk.
Eating a Flake bar is a bit of a dilemma, this is because during all the pleasures of eating the delicious chocolate, you are left with loads of tiny fragments of chocolate everywhere usually tons of it left in the wrapper and here I like to just tip it all into my mouth and let it dissolve.............................MMMmmmmmmmmmm.
At 50p per bar with some of the proceeds going to the Tickled pink charity, what better excuse can you find to delve into a Flake at the nearest ASDA store. Well purchase it there and eat at your leisure when you return home. I think you might just enjoy it as much as I do.
As many housewives will know finding something different from the run of the mill foods we tend to stick too can be a bit difficult. Mash or roast, chipped, but if it isn't potatoes you desire the options can be awkward especially if you are feeding a family and some of the younger ones keep screaming chips.
Thankfully these days for me are gone, but I do certainly get fed up with mash or the likes all the time. Well truth be known it's all hubby's fault. He's not a big mash fan whereas I could eat mash on it's own all the time no bother. Hubby does like his chips and I am partial to some now and then.
However in an effort to get healthier, and since they were on special offer we decided to try the savoury rice.
Batchelors Savoury rice comes in several different flavours and all are very tasty, but not as tasty as getting 3 packets for £1.00, which is the special offer I hinted at earlier. The ones we chose were " Golden Savoury Rice" , " Sweet and Sour" , and Golden vegetable. This special offer has been going on fr a while at ASDA and if I recall correctly I think that they were on sale for 42p each, so the saving is considerable if not overwhelming.
The packets that the product comes in is quite bright and eye-catching, and all pretty much mostly blue in colour with a flash of different colour to distinguish the different flavours. This makes finding your favourite very easy.
The Golden Savoury Rice is a nice accompaniment to something like a pork chop. I think the best way to describe may be to compare it to a stock cube. A vegetable one, that's the fragrance that is given off when the rice is cooking. The packet says simmer for 18 - 20 mins, but my water never seems to last our that long so the obvious deduction is that I'm boiling not simmering. It smells nice when cooking, but does require a lot of attention in the latter stages once the water starts to soak into the rice and some evaporates.
I'd have to say although I compared it to a vegetable stock cube, I'd have to add that this flavour would be the base flavour, since there are all other little bits of taste going on to make this actually very tasty. It goes well with Chicken too, but you may need to have some kind of sauce since with chicken the overall plate might seem a bit dry.
All in all this is a really nice healthy and tasty substitute for those somewhat less healthy options, not that I'd ever give up chips or mash, but a change is as good as a rest and this is certainly a very nice change.